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Feature 2 | RESEARCH AND SURVEY VESSELS


Sir David Attenborough is currently at an advanced stage of outfitting at Cammell Laird’s Birkenhead, UK yard (credit: Jon Payne, Cammell Laird)


set in combined diesel-direct and PTI mode at maximum power. A maximum shaft speed will then be combined with minimum propeller pitch. The two MAN 16V32/44CR main engines provide a power concentration of 19,200kW, while the two PTI electric motors can deliver 7,400kW, rendering 26,600kW of available propulsion power. The configuration enables many


combinations of thrust and speed to suit the ship’s full operating profile, controlled by diesel, propeller and power management systems, achieving energy efficiency in conjunction with the requisite performance. In silent mode, when conducting science research, the main diesels and gearboxes will be de-coupled, and the diesel-electric solution will be activated, with the four, double resilient-mounted diesel generators supplying the PTI shaft propulsion motors through medium- voltage switchboards. Three tunnel thrusters are fitted in the bow as well as in the stern skegs to assist the vessel in adverse sea and wind conditions. Te vessel will be able to deploy a wide


range of vehicles, including helicopters, landing barges and amphibious trucks, to


10


support the resupply operations. Sensitive acoustic instruments are mounted on drop keels, and multi-beam bathymetric sonars will enable sea floor mapping. Flexible and modular laboratories will afford scientists the diverse facilities needed for cutting- edge research. It is claimed that she is the only ship worldwide to have a watertight room or wet well to process seawater for krill and other species.


Multidisciplinary newbuild The UK’s Sir David Attenborough is nearing completion on Merseyside and promises to be one of the most advanced polar research vessels worldwide. On delivery this year, the 129m newbuild will provide scientists investigating oceans, ice and the atmosphere with state-of- the-art facilities on a multidisciplinary research platform. The polar ship was commissioned


by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) from Cammell Laird, for operation by British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Te £200 million (US$259 million) capital outlay encapsulated in the design, construction and commissioning of the vessel constitutes the core element in the government’s


polar infrastructure investment programme aimed at keeping the UK to the fore in Antarctic and Arctic research. Te newbuild will ultimately fulfil the role of two UK polar ships, James Clark Ross and Ernest Shackleton. Sir David Attenborough will operate


year-round, spending the austral summer in Antarctica carrying out research programmes and transporting personnel, supplies and equipment to the BAS research stations, and redeploying to the northernmost latitudes during the northern summer for Arctic research voyages. With the ability to spend up to 60 days


at sea unsupported, and designed to break through ice up to 1m thick, the vessel will undertake extensive voyages with significantly greater geographic coverage than James Clark Ross. The operating arrangements in connection with logistic duties have been conceived for high efficiency, in relation to the challenges presented, so as to maximise the time available for research cruises. Cammell Laird awarded the contract


for the integrated, scientific research and mapping technology package to Kongsberg Maritime, the


recent Offshore Marine Technology 2nd Quarter 2019


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